Friday, 7 May 2010


Volkswagen has taken over the mantle of major sponsor for the Spirit of Africa competition which is run by racing legend Sarel van der Merwe. The previous automaker in charge was Mitsubishi who have now pulled out. While Mitsubishi used Tritons for the competition, you might wonder what kind of vehicle VW has in their fleet that’s up to the task. The Touareg? Or the Tiguan perhaps? Maybe a modified Golf or Polo?

None of the above. It’s the all-new Amarok bakkie which starts selling in the country within the next couple of months. At first we’ll only see double-cab versions of this apparently rugged vehicle, with single cab workhorses scheduled to arrive in early 2011.

“I am happy to be again reunited with the Volkswagen family especially to be associated with a product like Amarok which impressed me from the start,” said Sarel. “Amarok’s off road capabilities will enable us to make some exercises even more difficult than in previous years. I am positive that the contestants will experience the same admiration for the vehicle and will have a thrilling time during the 2010 Spirit of Africa competition.”

A total of 23 Amarok will be supplied to the Spirit of Africa which starts this August and finishes in November.

Thursday, 6 May 2010


CAR magazine deputy editor Hannes Oosthuizen personifies the quintessential automotive enthusiast. His passionate affair with the automobile has not only shaped his life and career, but endowed him with a delightfully oblique perspective of the motoring world. Let Hannes take you on a remarkable journey across the globe, and put you behind the wheels of some of world’s most exciting machinery, including Batman’s Lamborghini Murciélago, Fernando Alonso’s Renault F1 racing car and the Koenigsegg CCX owned by the ever-controversial late Lolly Jackson. You’ll race Aston Martins through the farmlands of France, dodge men with enormous moustaches while threading Lamborghinis through German forests, go for wild rides with motorsport legends such as Sarel van der Merwe and Walter Röhrl, and experience a road trip of a lifetime when towing a priceless Porsche from Cape Town to Johannesburg… with a SsangYong.

He describes how taking part in a snowmobile race can help you win an F1 title, and why he has every chance of winning the Le Mans 24 Hours – in 2018. But it’s not all about cars, you’ll also discover how it feels to give Salma Hayek a bath, why Jacob Zuma’s spare wheel is flat and that petrolhead heaven is not the Nürburgring in Germany, but an abandoned army base near Bedford in England.

Witty, invariably naughty and written with his tongue firmly in his cheek, Cranked Up is a book that will make you smile, whether you’re into cars or not.

CAR magazine, South Africa’s oldest and most authoritative motoring publication has been publishing road tests since 1957. Which were the fastest, the thirstiest and the most powerful? Looking for information on a specific model? You can find out in this book, which includes a comprehensive database of the nearly 3 000 vehicles tested from February 1957 until May 2010 – a valuable reference resource. It’s a must-have for CAR readers and automotive anoraks alike.

You can place a pre-order at


New vehicle sales continue to grow year on year, but the bullish results experienced during the first quarter have slowed slightly. This is according to figures released by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SA (Naamsa).

April new vehicle sales ended on 35 763 units, 36% ahead of April 2009, but 17.9% down on March 2010. Year to date sales reflect a 22% increase over the same period last year.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010


The Nissan Navara - has been given a mid-term boost with a number of significant enhancements designed to keep it at the top of its class with more luxurious equipment and an even more distinguishable appearance.

The Navara range already represents some of the toughest and most versatile bakkies on the market today, with a comprehensive lineup spanning from the rugged new King Cab model - for those in need of some extra cabin space behind the front seats, to the versatile XE/SE midrange Double Cabs, right up to a comprehensively specced double-cab leisure bakkie in the form of the new 2010 Navara LE. The luxurious LE is the focus of the specification enhancements added in this revision, which further separates the Navara from other segment contenders - creating a bakkie which stands on its own as a fully-fledged luxury SUV, albeit one with the most versatile load areas possible!


Hyundai Motor Company staged the world-premiere of its all-new Verna at the 2010 Beijing Automotive Exhibition last week. With its eye-catching sloping roofline, the new sub-compact, Hyundai’s third China-exclusive model, projects a coupe-like dynamic image that is at once sporty, stately and futuristic.

Developed over a five-year period expressively for the Chinese market, product planners conducted exhaustive market research of Chinese consumer tastes and trends to ensure every detail meets local requirements. Built on an all-new platform at the company’s highly automated plant in Beijing, Verna is targeted at China’s strategically important C1 segment and fully reflects Hyundai’s philosophy of quality.

Monday, 3 May 2010


SAM Racing’s Leeroy Poulter (Tubular/mobicars Nissan 350Z) and Marco da Cunha (Tubular/Exa Motor Group Nissan 350Z) had to work really hard in the third round of the Bridgestone Production Car Championship at Port Elizabeth’s Aldo Scribante circuit on Saturday.

A third overall for the day for former champion Poulter came from fifth and second in the two sprint races and fourth in the feature race, while Da Cunha was sixth overall after sixth places in the first and the last race and a non-finish in the second sprint.